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Victory with a smile
Charles Goren
November 28, 1960
It was a happy Los Angeles team which overcame a bad start, hung on in an exciting last hand and again downed New York to keep the bridge capital on the West Coast
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November 28, 1960

Victory With A Smile

It was a happy Los Angeles team which overcame a bad start, hung on in an exciting last hand and again downed New York to keep the bridge capital on the West Coast

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PASS
PASS
PASS
DBL.

Opening lead: jack of diamonds

Previous to the above bidding in the closed room, the audience had watched Schleifer make 10 tricks at hearts, playing the South hand. But his contract was two hearts, so Los Angeles scored only 170 points. Now declarer (Schenken) let West hold the first diamond trick and won the continuation with dummy's ace. He led a club to his king and took a successful finesse of the club jack, discarding his remaining diamond on dummy's ace of clubs.

Next, declarer led a spade to his ace and returned a spade. West made the fine play of going up with the king to prevent his partner from being stuck on lead with the queen. West was able to shift to a trump without losing a trick. North's ace won and the last club was ruffed by South, East discarding a diamond.

Then declarer trumped his 2 of spades with dummy's king of hearts, effectively shutting out East's queen (a low ruff would have permitted East to overruff and return a trump, setting the contract).

East discarded his last diamond, but on the lead of a diamond from dummy he was helpless. If he ruffed high, South would discard his last spade. When he trumped low, South overruffed with the 9 and trumped his last spade with dummy's heart 10. East was able to score his queen of hearts at long last—but South remained with the jack of hearts to win the last trick and bring home his doubled contract, scoring 590 points for a net of 9 International Match Points and what, at that late stage, began to seem like a safer lead.

But Los Angeles took 13 IMPs on the next three deals. This set the stage for that final cliffhanger when, with the match in the balance, it was the New York team that fell off the cliff.

One of the biggest swings in favor of Los Angeles—13 IMPs—came one board before the end of the second half. At that moment L.A. was suffering (literally) from a 30-point deficit. The comeback was achieved when Erdos and Adams outbid Hirsch-berg and Kahn on the North-South cards of this hand:

Both sides vulnerable East dealer

NORTH

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